I hated having this conversation with my kids.
I’m usually appreciative of, and willing to have, hard and important conversations. I facilitate them in my professional and personal life often. They can be transformative, build community, cause forgiveness, and solve complicated problems.
But not this conversation. This conversation sucked. And simply sitting with the sadness, fear, and confusion is all that I could really do. And stumble my way through answering impossible questions.
This past Wednesday, as we stopped along I-70 between the majestic Utah desert and our Boulder home, we had to tell our children that a man had shot and killed 10 people at our grocery store.
The grocery store that’s two minutes from our house. Where I’ve been shopping weekly for the past fourteen years… pre-children, pregnant, with a baby on my back and a toddler riding the mechanic horse for a penny, and now with my tween getting Doritos for the road trip ahead.
Picking up prescriptions, buying flowers, grabbing milk or donuts. Employees have watched my kids growing up. We always run into someone we know.
It’s our neighborhood store.
All of these familiar feelings of “home” flashed on my kids’ sweet little faces, as their eyes filled with tears, their jaws clenched.
Then silence, as they let it “sink in,” trying to even put words to the questions and feelings.
“Mom, I’m at that shopping center almost every Monday afternoon getting pizza or Snarf’s,” said my 11-year-old (subtext, thank goodness it was Spring break and I wasn’t there this Monday).
Ping. Ping. Ping. 56 text messages made their way to my phone, as soon as we were back in cell range. Friends and family from all over the world, checking in and sending love.
This August I will have lived in Boulder for 20 years. It’s my community. It’s the only home my own children have ever had.
So, we had the conversation(s). Gave the unsatisfying answers to ‘why.’ Held them and quietly, read books, walked to the memorial, left cards.
Hold your loved ones close.
Appreciate the daily joys.
Fight for change.
Much love and more nakedness,